Maybe you knew this post was coming, or perhaps you didn’t. We moved to BHH in June of 2014, and we got to work right away fixing and updating the house, and writing this blog (albeit very poorly, in the beginning). First steps were no-brainers. The house needed a new electrical panel and smoke detectors. The next year we got a new roof. For three summers, the painters came. (year one // year two) The list goes on and on.
Counting enclosed porches and halls, BHH has 25 rooms. We have managed to do a little something in almost all of them, and a whole lot of something in others.
While I have never declared myself to be a restoration purist, my heart is firmly rooted there. For each new project we tackle, I first consider how to safeguard the original elements in each space. I like to think we strike a good balance between preserving the old and making BHH beautiful and livable for our life in modern times. More than any other title, I think of us as thoughtful renovators.
When we were in the buying process, we had two inspectors look at the property. They were very thorough, and they came to the same conclusion. The two main things BHH needed were time and money. Boy were they right!
Since I began writing this blog, I think I have been pretty transparent about my openness to sponsorships and collaborations that are the right fit for BHH and align with our values. However, I know this is such a loaded topic for readers. Some readers do not feel like writing a blog is legitimate work, or they question the authenticity of a blogger’s relationship with a sponsor. They hate to see their favorite blogs become an extended commercial. The list of concerns is long.
I get this. Oh, how I get this. I was a blog reader long before I was a blog writer, and I have watched this all unfold.
Over the past few years, I have considered what it means to be an influencer. That’s such a funny word and a tricky idea. Presently, I am the bellwether for nothing, but I sat down to consider what I want to encourage our readers and followers to do if that day should come. Here’s a list.
I want to influence you to:
- Take a risk (Initially, I did not want to buy BHH..)
- Learn a new skill
- Save an old house
- Tackle the projects languishing on your to-do list.
- Be creative on a tight budget
- See potential in the rubble
- Buy products that work
- Enjoy life; It’s short.
- Do for others
However, If I am to receive something as an influencer, I also need to be able to pay that forward in a way that has a broader reach than the triangle of BHH, the product company, and our readers. Thus, the last item on my list above. I have decided that for every $500 worth of product I receive for BHH, I will volunteer for one full day with Habitat For Humanity.
Why HFH and How Will This Work?
I learned about HFH in the 1980s, and even though I was just a kid, the concept of a community coming together to build a home for a family who needed it, made sense to me.
Two years ago, I decided to work on a HFH job site for my birthday, and I loved it. In fact, that very day I learned how to use a chop saw and a nail gun. Now that I have more construction experience, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity is the perfect way for me to use the skills I have while I learn new ones.
HFH builds modest, comfortable homes in communities all over the world. Each house is built almost entirely by volunteers. That amazes me! The families that benefit from HFH homes must also put volunteer hours into the build. It is a win-win formula. In our area, HFH homes are almost entirely revitalization projects vs. new builds. There is a huge inventory of old homes that are unsafe in their present state. HFH completely removes the hazards and refurbishes the entire house to bring it up to code.
Although their method is not entirely in line with my restoration leanings, I get it. It is the right thing to do in this case. The day I volunteered, the crew was working hard to reinstall an original banister on the new staircase. They also reused unpainted woodwork when it was possible. So, not everything is tossed into a dumpster, reality TV-style.
On my end, I will keep track of the bottom line. Each time we earn $500, I will be spending the day with Habitat For Humanity. When I schedule my time with HFH will depend on my family and work obligations. The important thing is that I will put my volunteer hours in within the same calendar year as my earnings unless it all falls in the month of December. If that is the case, I’ll get right to it the following January. If things go crazy, and I become a millionaire, well, one step at a time.
I recognize that as you read this post, you may have questions or concerns. Please know that right now, I am not sitting on a stack of collaboration opportunities. This blog is not going to change overnight. I always welcome your questions and comments.
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